Series: Flame in the Mist #2
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in June 2018
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes and Noble
For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn't expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn't expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.
Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign's brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.
As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami's rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.
Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, Smoke in the Sun is the breathless, romantic, not-to-be-missed fiery conclusion to a spell-binding adventure.
**SPOILER ALERT: This review may contain spoilers for the first book in the series. Please do not read this review if you have not yet read Flame in the Mist. You may click here for my review of Flame in the Mist.
I think I would have enjoyed Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh more if I had read it immediately after Flame in the Mist. However, because I have borrowed the books from the library, it has been nearly six-months since I read Flame in the Mist. Sadly, I forgot many tiny details, which made following Smoke in the Suna bit difficult at the beginning. Overall, however, I really enjoyed Smoke in the Sun.
Smoke in the Sun picks up immediately after Flame in the Mist. Okami is in prison, Mariko is playing the role of Prince Raiden’s betrothed, the emperor is dead, and Prince now Emperor Roku wants answers. There are many layers to this plot with scenes focusing on various characters. There are many characters also working to make certain things happen. Add in the fantasy elements to the story, and Smoke in the Sunsimply has a lot going on.
Personally, I think it could have benefited from being a bit longer. My biggest qualm about the story was that some of the smaller plot points were left unanswered. The ending just happened so suddenly. The larger plot points were wrapped up nicely. Okami, Mariko, Prince Raiden, and Emperor Roku have completed stories. I just wanted more, especially regarding the secondary characters.
Overall, however, I really enjoyed how the story played out. I struggled a bit in the beginning because I forgot things from Flame in the Mist, but once I got into the story, it was smooth sailing. I particularly enjoyed continuing to see Mariko’s ingenuity, especially with her scientific experimentation. I also think the secondary characters stood out in this story. I enjoyed connecting more with them.
All in all, Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh was an enjoyable finale to Flame in the Mist. It just let me wanting a bit more. I highly recommend reading it immediately after Flame in the Mist or at least recapping Flame in the Mist prior to reading Smoke in the Sun.If you have read the Flame in the Mist duology, I would love to hear your thoughts. Did the ending feel a bit unfinished to you? Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know!